Starting business without funds
Starting a business in a recession without any cash might not be a bad idea. Rachel Bridge helps explain how and warns of the pitfalls, writes FRANK DILLON
AS AN EXPERIENCED newspaper journalist, Rachel Bridge has a facility for coming up with eye-catching titles. Before her latest book How to start a business without any money, she had already penned How to make a million before lunchtime, a work she translated onto stage and brought to the fringes of the Edinburgh Festival. Literally-speaking, the latter concept is, of course, ridiculous. “Before lunchtime” is not a timeline, it’s a metaphor about speed. So is she taking us for a ride again with the notion of becoming an entrepreneur with no money?
For the most part, the answer in this case is no. Bridge has produced a smart guide to how to get a business up and running without a significant basket of start-up funding and has some canny advice on the pitfalls to avoid. It’s also worth the purchase price if it stops a budding entrepreneur from making one of the common mistakes she highlights.
However, unlike the many start-your-own business guides produced by accountants, it avoids preaching and it’s a good entertaining read. Bridge also gets to draw on the experience of her own micro-business producing mugs with inspiring messages and is happy to share the ups and downs of her own entrepreneurial journey.
A former enterprise editor with the Sunday Times in the UK, she says she was inspired to write the book after running entrepreneurship seminars. “Time and again people asked how can I raise the finance. When I probed the reason for why they wanted money, it was for marketing but you don’t need that anymore if you use the technology that’s freely available to market your business.” Starting a business without cash is not only good for your personal bank balance it can also be good for the enterprise too as a lack of cash often forces you to be more creative, she says.
The first piece of eminently sensible advice she has is not to give up the day job. Even if you are made redundant, get a part-time one down the local pub or supermarket, she advises and work on the business without drawing a wage from it.
The second is to choose a product or services that people need rather than one they think they want. For example, when asked about their dream holiday destination, most Britons say Australia. The reality is that the top five places they actually go on holiday are Spain, France, Ireland, the US and Italy – Australia doesn’t make the top 10 even.